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UFC-owner Endeavor aims for over $10 billion valuation in second IPO attempt

·2 min read
Anthony Smith of the U.S. attends a news conference ahead of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gala in Stockholm Globe Arena, in Stockholm

(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to say the valuation is more $10 billion, not $16 billion)

(Reuters) - Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is aiming for a valuation of more than $10 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO), in what will be its second shot at going public after a failed attempt in 2019.

Endeavor has also bought sports tech firm FlightScope Services Business for $60 million, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The Beverly Hills, California based-company plans to offer about 21.3 million shares priced between $23 and $24 apiece to raise $511 million, it said.

Endeavor, which is backed by Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel, counts celebrities such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova among its top-tier clients. It has also financed movies including "La La Land" and "Just Mercy".

Endeavor, which earlier named Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to its board, is hoping for a warmer reception from investors than the one it received in 2019, when the company was forced to abort its $400-million share sale a day before it was supposed to go public, following weak investor demand.

In an earlier filing, Endeavor had disclosed plans to acquire the 49.9% stake it doesn't already hold in UFC from private-equity firms KKR and Silver Lake, using proceeds from the IPO and a concurrent private placement of $1.77 billion from investors including Dragoneer, Fidelity, Elliott Management, Tencent and Third Point.

Endeavor had bought controlling stake in UFC from casino moguls Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2016.

The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "EDR".

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, KKR and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters for the company's offering.

(This story corrects headline and paragraph 1 to say the valuation is more $10 billion, not $16 billion)

(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)